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Bursill-Hall, Geoffrey Leslie (1959) The doctrine of partes orationis in the speculative grammars of the Modistae: With special reference to the works of Siger de Courtrai and Thomas of Erfurt. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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This thesis contains a preface, an introduction, and a table of contents; it also contains six chapters and concludes with six appendices, the last of which is the bibliography, and a brief chronology. The first two chapters are introductory; the first chapter describes the history of grammatical writing in Europe from the ancient Greeks up to the Middle Ages; the second chapter describes briefly the mediaeval background to the Modistae, writers of speculative grammars in the later Middle Ages. Chapter three describes their grammatical theories against the metaphysical theories of reality on which they constructed their theories; the second part of this chapter contains an analysis of their technical vocabulary. The fourth chapter analyses the descriptive procedure of the Modistae; it is divided into two parts. The first part elements describes the creation of a pars orationis beginning with the expression (vox) and culminating in the pars, orationis the second section, 'categories', describes the process beginning with the thing to be signified and its properties (modus essendi) and ending with its grammatical signification (modus significandi). Chapter five is an analysis of Modistic descriptions of the partes orationis, and is divided into two parts; the first part contains the description of the eight partes orationis; the second part discusses Modistic syntactic theory. The sixth chapter attempts to evaluate the grammatical theories of the Modistae with reference to modem linguistic theories. The thesis concludes with six appendices. The first contains a brief comparison of Siger de Courtrai and Thomas of Erfurt, the principal members of our corpus: the second contains definitions of the modes used to describe the partes orationis; the third and fourth are diagrammatic expositions of their descriptions of the partes orationis and their syntax; the fifth contains a glossary of technical terms; the final appendix contains the bibliography.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:09

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